In this quick and inexpensive tutorial, we are going to show you how to make a Terrific Topaz Excavation. These excavations are super easy to make and are a great teaching resource to include in your next lesson or discussion about topaz, gemstones, geology, and more.


Fun Fact: Topaz are the birthstone of November. 


Be sure to check out our Digital Dig and get real topaz and topaz digs kits for free!  Answer trivia and earn points you can redeem for free rocks, minerals, fossils, seashells, excavation kits and more!





Plaster of Paris


Mixing Bowl

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups

Popsicle sticks – Popsicle sticks are inexpensive, readily available, and make great excavation tools.

Safety goggles or glasses – You we need to provide or borrow a set for each student.

Optional – Brushes and magnifying glasses.

Small Styrofoam coffee cup

Topaz - You can find these at your local rock shop, buy bags or rough topaz online, or get free topaz here to use in your Terrific Topaz Excavation.


Check out our Gemstone Journey Extreme excavation kit that comes with topaz, garnet, amethyst, rubies, emeralds, and many more real gemstones! Excavating Adventures has a kit for everyone. Explore dig kits filled with rocks, minerals, fossils, gemstones, seashells, and more!




  1. Place some topaz in the cup.
  2. Mix 1 cups sand with 1/3 cup Plaster of Paris.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of water and mix until you have a pancake batter consistency.
  4. Pour the mixture over the topaz.
  5. Wait about five minutes to allow the mixture to set and firm up.
  6. Add some more topaz. This will put some topaz at different levels in the excavation.
  7. Place the Terrific Topaz Excavation in front of a fan overnight until it is completely dry.
  8. Distribute the excavation, excavation tools, and safety goggles to your Excavating Adventurer and have fun watching them dig in and discover the awesome topaz you have hidden inside.


Topaz Tales: Unveiling the Shimmering Gem of Fire!

Fun Facts about Topaz:

  1. Topaz is a beautiful gemstone known for its vibrant colors, including shades of blue, yellow, pink, and even colorless varieties.

  2. The name "topaz" is derived from the ancient Greek word "topazos," which referred to a yellow gemstone, but topaz can occur in a range of colors.

  3. Topaz is a durable gemstone, with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, making it suitable for everyday jewelry.

  4. The largest known topaz gemstone is called the "El-Dorado Topaz," weighing an astonishing 31,000 carats (about 13.6 pounds)!

  5. Blue topaz is the most popular variety of topaz in the jewelry industry and is often used as a birthstone for December.

  6. Some topaz crystals can display a special optical phenomenon called "pleochroism," where different colors are seen when viewed from different angles.

  7. Ancient civilizations believed that topaz had healing properties and could bring protection and strength to its wearer.

  8. Brazil is the leading producer of topaz, and the country is famous for its rich deposits of the gemstone.

  9. Topaz is often associated with qualities such as love, good fortune, and energy, and it has been cherished by many cultures throughout history.

  10. Topaz crystals can form in a variety of environments, including igneous rocks, pegmatites, and even hydrothermal veins.

  11. The color of some topaz gemstones can be enhanced through a process called "irradiation," which changes the color of the stone.

  12. In ancient times, topaz was believed to have the power to dispel enchantments and protect against evil spirits.

Remember, topaz is like a sparkling gemstone that holds the allure of sunshine and brings a touch of enchantment to those who admire its brilliance!


Excavating Adventures Pro Tip: Styrofoam containers make great molds for excavations. Once the excavation is dry, the Styrofoam is easy to peel away to reveal the excavation inside. 


Take some time to explore the Excavating Adventures subscription plans and extensive store filled with digs kits and excavation activities. We have monthly excavations that get delivered right to your door, Build Your Own excavations, a blog filled with amazing excavation ideas, trivia, tons of free stuff and much, much, more!



Question 1: Which country is the leading producer of topaz? A) Brazil B) Australia C) India D) South Africa

Correct answer: A) Brazil

Question 2: What is the hardness of topaz on the Mohs scale? A) 5 B) 7 C) 8 D) 10

Correct answer: C) 8

Question 3: Which variety of topaz is the most popular in the jewelry industry? A) Pink topaz B) Blue topaz C) Yellow topaz D) Colorless topaz

Correct answer: B) Blue topaz